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Fisher Mourns Passing of Founder of First Generation Scholarship Program

November 28, 2022

Beloved alumnus and founder of the Fannie and Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program Charles A. Constantino ’61 passed away on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. He was 83 years old.

Charlie and Elaine Constantino

Charlie and Elaine Constantino

Constantino earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics in 1961 from Fisher and went on to earn a master of science degree in 1966 from the University of Rochester. From 1961-1967, he worked as an applied mathematician in computer research and development at the Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York. In 1970, he was a member of the small group that founded PAR Technology Corporation. Upon his retirement as executive vice president of PAR, he served on the company’s board of directors for the years that followed.

A first-generation college student when he came to Fisher, he and his wife, Elaine, continue to pay it forward through their support of the Fannie and Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program, named in honor of his parents, whose dream was for all of their children to attend college. His parents supported the inaugural fund drive to establish St. John Fisher College.

Established in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of Fisher, the First Generation Scholarship Program has enrolled more than 700 Fisher undergraduate students in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. The Constantinos are also the benefactors of the Constantino Family Scholarship. One of Fisher’s largest legacy families, in all, more than 30 immediate and extended members of his family have attended the University, including two of his children, and several cousins, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren.

Constantino was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors as well as the Board of Trustees, which he served from 1985-2015. He served as board chair from 1999-2001. In 2004, he received a Doctor of Humane Letters for his Board service. He and his wife are also inaugural members of the Presidents Society.

“Charlie often said, ‘Help when you can, wherever you can, as often as you can,’ thanks to the philosophy of service and philanthropy that his parents instilled in him from a very young age,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of Fisher. “His dedication to the mission of our institution and his family’s longtime commitment to our students have been a blessing to all in our campus community. We are sincerely grateful to Charlie, Elaine, and their family for their generosity and belief in Fisher. He will be deeply missed.”

A celebration of his life and visitation will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the University’s Hermance Family Chapel of St. Basil the Great from 3-8 p.m., and a Memorial Mass will be held at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Athletic Center Fieldhouse on Friday, Dec. 2, at 11 a.m. Constantino’s full obituary can be found online in the Daily Sentinel, his hometown newspaper.